When it comes to audio playback, a vinyl turntable tends to require more upkeep than other audio systems. You have to maintain the stylus, engage in the occasional vinyl record cleaning, and you need to replace components from time to time. Still, when it comes to the aural experience, many audiophiles feel that the effort is well worth it. One of the most important aspects of maintaining sound quality with a vinyl system is turntable isolation, to keep your record player from unwanted vibrations.


Why Turntable Isolation is Critical

Vibration isolation is a major buzz term amongst vinyl enthusiasts in record stores and online forums, and for good reason. When there’s too much vibration, it’s easy for the stylus of your player to become misaligned, which will adversely affect the record playback. Have you ever played your records and heard low-frequency acoustic feedback when someone walked into the room? Has your table been nudged to the point where the record skipped? Poor isolation is the cause.


The vibrations caused by everyday life sometimes adversely affect the sound quality of your vinyl systems. Fortunately, accessories like turntable isolation platforms will ensure that these unwanted vibrations won’t affect your overall listening experience.


Causes of Turntable Vibration

Ideally, if you live in a newer home, strong floors won’t carry much vibration. Floors made of concrete or other hard materials will ensure that nothing will cause vibration issues with your turntable’s playback. Still, not everyone lives in one of these homes/apartments. Materials like hardwood, especially as it ages, are poor at vibration control, which is why some need some form of sound isolation for their systems. Here are a few causes of acoustic feedback and vibration in cases like these:



A roommate or family member merely walking around either in another room or the same room as the turntable can easily cause vibration. For DJs, simply moving away from the table to adjust settings on the preamp or going for a quick drink can easily cause issues with vibration control, thanks to weak or springy floors.


Closed/Opened Doors

Doors don’t have to be slammed to affect the playback of your vinyl records. The mere closing or opening of a door can cause vibrations that lead to playback issues on your turntable.


Interference from Other Devices

This is a major issue for vinyl enthusiasts because the surfaces that are home to record players also tend to have a variety of other devices, which cause vibrations. A CD player, which is prone to vibration issues, also causes vibrations that will throw off playback on a turntable. Even audio equipment like digital to analog converters (DACs) and phono preamps can cause unwanted vibrations.


Still, the most common causes of vibration interference are larger devices like speakers, amplifiers, and subwoofers. These tend to produce significant vibration as music is played, which the turntable will pick up. Speakers also move air, and at loud volumes, the mere air being pushed by a speaker system will cause vibrations that could affect the listening experience.


Internal Causes

Not every instance of turntable vibration is caused by external sources. Sometimes, the motor in the turntable starts to vibrate. Additionally, bearings and belts may also cause this issue. When this is the case, you may have to replace the components or the device itself – even with the best turntable wears down with time.


Another internal component that could cause vibration is the tonearm itself. High-speed ripple effects in the structure of the component can easily cause the cartridge to move in a way that causes poor audio performance. This is usually a result of a design flaw, and to fix it, you’ll have to replace the tonearm.


How to Implement Turntable Isolation Against Vibrationtube box preamp with debut carbon evo

Just because your turntable is prone to resonance artifacts as a result of any of these causes doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy artifact-free playback. As mentioned before, a turntable isolation platform is a great way to ensure that vibration doesn’t ruin your listening experience. For example, Pro-Ject’s Ground it E is an adjustable platform for turntables that actively damps external vibrations to maintain sonic performance.


Here are a few alternative methods for vibration control to consider.

Cork Isolation Pads

In most cases, isolation feet that utilize cork as a component typically use other materials, like rubber, to ensure traction and optimized vibration negation. These aren’t always exclusively designed with

turntables in mind, but the spongy material is 100% natural and really will dampen any vibrations along the surface of your table or platform.


These pads also benefit from being very lightweight, so if you have to lug your equipment from gig to gig, you won’t have to put in much extra effort to carry this pad around. Typically, you find these on Amazon and work well to minimize the subtractive resonances of excess vibrations based on many customer reviews there.


Bamboo Pads

Another 100% natural, anti-vibration material to consider is bamboo. Some call these pads or platforms butcher block acoustics because of their square wooden design. Typically, these use naturally shock-absorbing bamboo slats to dampen external vibrations. You can use a bamboo chopping board to a similar effect for those looking for a do-it-yourself solution. This type of isolation system is also low profile and looks very attractive with a vintage player.


This material also serves as a practical option for those looking for vibration-absorbent speaker stands, even for heavy-weight speakers. With a bamboo block, the physical vibration emanating from your speakers won’t affect your turntable directly, but it could still experience vibrations from the pushed air.


Sorbothane Isolation Pads

Sorbothane, a proprietary, viscoelastic polymer material, is an excellent material for those looking for a more professional-grade isolation system. Pads made of this material are very capable of reducing not only vibration but also shock. Pads and platforms using this material might incorporate metals like aluminum or Kork-Kautshuk material to heighten the vibration reduction. Despite being very effective, these are also very lightweight.


Fiberboard (MDF) Platforms

These isolation stands utilize medium-density fiberboard to create vibration isolation. Similar to bamboo platforms, these are lightweight, and some are covered In Ozite. Ozite is a flooring material designed to provide a high level of vibration isolation. MDF platforms also have a butcher block design in some cases, so they tend to add a natural styling to your vinyl setup, which is perfect for a dedicated table or bookshelf setup.


Synthetic Rubber Pads

You can also quickly and easily reduce vibration by merely installing synthetic rubber feet to reduce vibration. For example, Pro-Ject’s Absorb it high-end damping feet can be quickly and easily added to most audio components to minimize mechanical vibration. This means that you can install them on your speakers, your turntable, or any other hi-fi sound system appliance that needs iso damping.


Iso Feet

These are very similar to the pads, but usually, they are explicitly designed for distinct turntable models. They typically screw into the device’s base and provide a thick layer of isolation that sometimes use springs to reduce vibration. You’ll find these available for models of turntables from producers like Technics, IsoAcoustics, Rega, and Audiocrast. In just about every case, these come in sets of four so that checkout is simple.


Cut the Vibration with Turntable Isolation to Enhance Your Experiencepro ject debut carbon evo white

A deluxe audio setup needs vibration isolation to provide the best listening profile. Fortunately, there are several options that you can use to protect your sound. Pro-Ject provides a few great isolation options, and there are also do-it-yourself options to consider as well. In any situation, if your environment is prone to vibration, consider one of the solutions presented in this guide to ensure the perfect audiophile experience.

If you’re still wondering “Why Does My Record Player Sound Bad“, contact your local hi-fi shop or reach out to us directly with questions.